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Nepal & India

Trekking + Exploring + Community

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Discover India and Nepal

Temples, Tigers and Mountains

Embark on a 2000-mile epic journey through the best of Nepal and India.

Starting in landlocked Nepal tucked in between Tibet, Bhutan, India and Kashmir. Ever since Nepal first opened its borders in the 1950s, this tiny mountain nation has had an irresistible allure for travellers, drawn to it's ancient history, the Himalaya’s rugged trails to Everest, the Annapurna’s and beyond and the wildlife protected in Chitwan's National Park.

Then it is on India for a complete contrast – hot, busy and oh so colourful. Here you will explore India’s highlights starting with the famous Taj Mahal, the palaces in Rajasthan and the beaches of Goa but not before you have visited the home of the Dalai Lama and helped teach English to the monks and nuns who travel there on a pilgrimage.

Embark on an adventure which will take you from the heady heights of Nepal to the calm beaches of Goa, experiencing everything you imagine on the way...


Program Itinerary

Embark on a 2000-mile epic journey through the best of Nepal and India. Over the course of 8 weeks you will go from Everest Basecamp down into India’s Golden Triangle, ending up on the exotic beaches of Goa. A magical mix of adventure, travel and volunteering.

The following is a sample itinerary.

Overview

Nepal

Welcome to Nepal

Your first 4 weeks will be spent in Nepal where you will explore and travel from Kathmandu down into Chitwan Valley and onto Everest Base Camp.

Arriving in Kathmandu you have a few days to acclimatise and experience the buzzing music spilling out of every street corner and an eclectic treasure of arts, culture and religion.

You will find streets filled with bookshops, markets, handicraft shops along with some the greatest cultural and spiritual world heritage sites in the world: Pashupatinath, Boudhanath, Swayambhunath, Durbar Square, Patan or Bhaktapur, and the lesser-known nearby towns that dot the valleys beyond.

Accommodation

Small hotels and guest houses throughout.

Food

3 meals a day provided.

Week 1

Royal Chitwan National Park Safari and Adventure

A World Heritage Site

You will head out of Kathmandu and travel south to the The Royal Chitwan National Park, Nepal oldest National Park, found in the central Terai region of Nepal.

This region is a massive contrast to the Kathmandu Valley as it’s in the subtropical southern part of Nepal. Here you’ll find massive river plains and a steaming jungle hosting one of the largest populations of the rare Bengal tiger, along with the one-horned rhino and wild elephants that are best viewed on elephant-back safaris.

Here you will have time to:
  • White water raft down the Trishuli River.
  • Cycle to the elephant breeding centre.
  • Visit Tharu village and see their famous Stick Dance.
  • Canoe and jungle trek to track the wildlife.
Week 2

Kathmandu Valley Community development

The Green Heartland

In many ways the Kathmandu Valley is Nepal. Created by the sword of the Buddhist deity Manjushri, this natural basin is a patchwork of terraced fields and sacred temple towns that showcase the glory of the architects and artisans of Nepal.

The valley provides a green and lush base for medieval villages, centuries-old temples and sacred sites; while just beyond the valley rim lie the larger than life Himalayan range and the road to Tibet.

It is in one of these valleys where we have organised for you to contribute to a volunteering project in an orphanage, monastery or with environmental conservation.

Orphanage or Monastery Project:
As a volunteer you will work to better the lives of the community through basic renovation and teaching. You will have the opportunity to teach English and conduct creative programs including games, music, art, drawing and painting.

Environmental Conservation:
Or you will be able to work in the village nursery to help with seed collection, sowing, mulching, watering and trimming. The nursery produces seedlings that are later distributed for to the local schools, communities, and villagers for planting in community fields.

Weeks 3 - 4

Everest Everest Base Camp Trek

Home of the World's Tallest Peak

The Everest region is located in the northeast of Nepal, where the prime attraction is the 8,848 m peak of Mt. Everest in the Sagarmatha National Park, also home to two other ‘eight thousanders’ – Lhotse and Cho Oyu – besides other whoppers above 6,000 m.

Designated a World Heritage Site in 1979, much of the 1,148 sq. km park lies above 3,000 m. The park is made up of rugged terrain with deep gorges, glaciers and huge rocks. The vegetation changing from pine, hemlock, fir, juniper, birch and rhododendron to alpine plants and then onto bare rock and snow. It’s home to the ghoral, tahr, serow and musk deer as well as the impeyan pheasant, blood pheasant, red-billed chough and the yellow-billed chough. Mind blowing.

Trek to the Base Camp of Mt Everest
The trek to Everest Base Camp is without doubt one of the most famous in the world and takes you into the heart of the Himalayan Range, with awe-inspiring views, through lush valleys and Sherpa villages with their Buddhist monasteries and yaks.

From Kathmandu you will fly to Lukla where you will begin your trek, supported by Sherpa’s who are highly regarded as elite mountaineers and experts in their local terrain.

Your trek takes about 14 days and will include a day in Namche Bazaar, a bustling market town in the heart of Sherpa country, Pheriche, where you’ll visit a cluster of houses set among the high summer grazing pastures of the region, Kala Pattar, the highlight for most, from where you can view the chaotic ice sculptures of the Khumbu Glacier, Nuptse and the south-west face of Everest itself.

But most days will be spent trekking from one remote village to another staying in traditional teahouses, surrounded with breath taking scenery of the snow-capped peaks. Unforgettable.

Accommodation

Tea houses and campsites.

Food

3 meals a day provided.

Overview

India

Kick Start Your Senses

Swap the mountains of Nepal for the smells, sounds and colours of India. It is country that will implode your senses and spark your curiosity as you whizz around in a tuk tuk, eyes on stalks!

Delhi is the extreme and no better place to get to grips with life in the fast lane before you head out to explore exquisite temples, pancake-flat deserts, pine clad forests and crumbling fortresses peering over plunging ravines.

From the towering icy peaks of the northern mountains to the sun-washed beaches of the southern coast, India's dramatic terrain is breathtaking and through the next few weeks you will see the best of India.

Accommodation

Guest houses.

Food

3 meals a day provided.

Week 5

Golden Triangle Exploring

Starting your journey

Having got to grips with the pace of India you will head off to explore India's famous Golden Triangle - a circuit which connects the capital of Delhi with Agra and Jaipur in Rajasthan.

Agra & the Taj Mahal
The Taj Mahal is a testimony to love forever enshrined within a marble mausoleum and recently included as one of the New Seventh Wonders of the World - we promise you it won't disappoint.

Jaipur
Heading over to Jaipur to see the City Palace, elephant ride up to the Amer Fort, and marvel at the Pink City. Heaven.

Week 6

Dharamsala Teach English to the Monks

Teach English to the Monks

Your next phase will take you up to the old colonial Hill Station of Dharamsala, home to the Dalai Lama.

The primary project work is to teach conversational English and pronunciation to the Tibetan Monks and nuns, who travel from a far for these lessons. This helps the Monks and Nuns to grow culturally, so they can read books from other religions to broaden their thinking.

Mcleod Ganj – Home of the Dalai Lama
There will also be time to explore Mcleod Gang, the residence of His Holiness the 14th Dalai Lama. We will visit the Dalai Lama Temple Complex, also known as “Little Lhasa of Tibet” where the Dalai Lama gives his teachings, and also see the Headquarters of the Tibetan Government in exile. You will also be able to visit other well known sites including Bhagsunag falls and Temple (an important spot of Hindu Pilgrims), and the local markets where you can buy Tibetan handicrafts.

Bir
The small town of Bir is renowned for its eco-tourism and meditation studies. It is located in a beautiful setting in the foothills of the Himalayas surrounded by forests and tea gardens. Bir is the perfect place from which to do some light hikes and is also the paragliding capital of India.

Weeks 7- 8

Rajasthan - Goa Exploring the sights

Palaces & Beaches Await

The final leg of your adventure takes you first through the state of Rajasthan, down through India’s second city, Mumbai, before reaching your final destination – Goa with its clear seas, pristine beaches, exquisite cuisine and friendly people - time to chill.

Rajasthan
Explore the majestic forts and lavish palaces, jungles and desert landscapes with camels and snake charmers.

Mumbai
Formally known as Bombay, the city of Mumbai sets the pace for all western India. Admire the Gateway of India Monument, shop in Crawford Market, take a stroll down Marine Drive and do some people-watching at Chowpatty Beach where Fakirs walk on fire and sleep on nails...

Goa
Time to chill on the pristine beaches, explore spice plantations and eat delicious food - Goa is consistently ranked year after year as one of the top tourist destinations in India, simply heaven...don't miss out.

Program Details & Costs

We have two departures to Nepal and India throughout the year: April and September for either 8 or 4 weeks (Nepal only). The most popular is the all singing and dancing 8 week option where you can “do it all” but of course you can go for less time to accommodate different dates, duration and costs. Just get in touch to work it out.

Depart Apr & Sep

2018: 14 Sep

2019: 5 Apr, 20 Sep

Costs

8 Weeks
4 weeks Nepal + 4 weeks India
2018: £35002019: £3500

4 weeks
4 weeks Nepal only
2018: £24002019: £2400

If you would only like to do one country and not both, that is easily arranged, just get in touch for details.

Trekking

An adventurers dream to reach Everest base camp.

Contrast

Venture out to explore the highlights of 2 contrasting countries - from mountains to palaces.

Social life

Guaranteed. You will travel and live with a tight team of Leapers throughout, so always someone to hang out with.

Cultural Exchange

Through your project work you will be welcomed into local life.

Time in and Time Out

Everyday will be different throughout this itinerary depending on where your are and what you are doing, but expect to busy all day. There will be 'down days' so you can head off to explore the local highlights and chill, especially after the big base camp trek.

Backpacker favourites:

  • Trekking in the Kathmandu valley.
  • Kathmandu's historic centre of temples.
  • Add on adventures in Chitwan National Park
  • Water sports in Goa.
  • Palace tours in Rajasthan.

Voluntourism at its best.

In 2015 Nepal rumbled with a massive 7.8 magnitude earthquake that shattered daily life across this Himalayan nation. A series of powerful aftershocks compounded the damage and terrified the country's 26.5 million population. The word devastation does not touch the sides to describe what was left both physically and mentally.

Aid agencies and volunteering companies, like ourselves, have remained in Nepal to help in any way we can and 'voluntourism' is what they need. Through this medium money is spent in the tourist trade and energy, time and kindness is being spent in with rural communities who need to learn English so they can in turn improve their job prospects. It's a win win solution.

Leaper's Highlights

Have a read of what our current volunteers are doing from around the world to give you a flavour of Leap life...

Living the island life in Ticao Ellie Walton

The current destination is rich in landscape and spectacular views. Ticao Island is providing us with great insight into local life and treating us with great customer experience within the resort.

The first few nights were spent in homestays with local families where we were immersed in the community by partaking in cooking meals, mending fishing nets with the fisherman and a celebratory dinner party for one of the hosts birthday. We certainly got a feel for island life throughout our stay in the village!

During our stay on Ticao, in addition to the excursions and relaxation time, we also took part in two projects. They consisted of a clean-up of the school before the commencement of term, followed by the making of a connection path that was safe for motorcyclists to use to cross the island. Luckily we had done similar projects in Borneo prior to this island visit, so we were ready to get stuck in!

Day to day structures would vary from working in the morning to taking a dip in the afternoon. Three members of our group were keen to take advantage of the surroundings and facilities at Ticao, as they dived on every opportunity that arose! The rest of us were able to snorkel around a few islands when we went island hopping, as this was Hannah's and Sacha's last day, we wanted to make the most of their remaining time in the Philippines. The water was so clear, we were lucky enough to see some black tip sharks roam around the coral. After one of my favourite days of the trip, the day arrived where we had to bid farewell to another two members of our Leap family, they'll both be missed greatly by the rest of the group!

Day trips to Cusco and the final project begins Aela Morris

This week has been a bit of a mish-mash. On Monday and Tuesday, we went on tours around Cusco. One to an Inca archaeological site and some salt mines, and the other to Rainbow Mountain. Then, we packed up and took the bus for about an hour to arrive at the Tierra de Los Yaques project.

Our last stop of the day was a salt mine, which was very cool, and can only really be described with pictures.

Tuesday morning was a ridiculously early start (4 am) to leave on the bus to Rainbow Mountain. I was still a bit groggy when we started the hike around ten. Going up was… rough. It was about a 2 hour hike, and even though it was nowhere near as steep as Colca, the much higher altitude made it a tough hike. Sadly, the view is not that impressive from the first base you come to when you reach the end of the trail, you have to commit to walking up a bunch of stairs to the very top to actually see the rainbow effect.

I enjoyed both tours, though hopefully I'll have time to do some sight-seeing in the City itself on the next few weekends we are there.

We got quite a welcome when we arrived to our final project. A conch was blown and flower petals were thrown on us, before we were dressed in traditional Peruvian outfits and introduced to our hosts for the next 2 weeks.

We have only done about 2 days of work so far, but it has been interesting. We helped make the clay that they use for handicrafts, fed an entire shed full of guinea pigs (rip, probably) and prepared the land for planting in September.

Will we become expert farmers by the end of this? Probably not. Stay tuned.

Madagascar, the boat trip part 2 Ellie Harland

On day 6, more than half way through our trip, we left Russian Bay for Nosy Iranja and Baramahamay River.

Baramahamay is a very small settlement located across from the village where we would later be hiking, teaching and playing football.

We began day 7 by pioneering a new hiking route. We took packed lunches and returned around 2/3 o'clock. We then played a football match that afternoon with some of the young adults in the village. This time, despite still easily being beaten, we put up a better challenge as the terrain was a dirt pitch rather than sand.

We returned to the boat for a time and ate dinner and showered before heading back to the village once more for the screening of Plastic Oceans. Plastic Oceans is a documentary made to raise awareness on the disposal of plastics and how they move through the food-chain and eventually into the final consumers, usually us. It is hoped that by screening the documentary, which has been translated in Malagasy, communities will be more mindful of their disposal techniques. On the boat trip we often do battery collections as these can be particularly harmful when discarded.

Day 8 we went paddling in some pirogues which are similar to canoes but more stable and some have sails. We didn't get very far and had to turn back due to the low tide. After this some people went snorkelling and then we planned our lessons for the afternoon before lunch.

Having never taught before I was quite intrigued and excited to see what it would be like. Fortunately we had 4 teachers so we put one in each class. In my group were Alex, Cressie and I who had the youngest class so we planned to teach them the Alphabet. The children were very loud but also eager to participate. Another football match then ensued afterward.

The Island Outreach has been fantastic and a much needed break from camp. Our staff have been incredible, especially Menjah who went above and beyond to cater for us and worked tirelessly to ensure our trip was as good as it could be. The next 2 weeks will fly by as we wind down and prepare to go home.

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